Liliana Proskuryakova

2005-06 International Policy Fellow
Combating Open Society Threats in the former Soviet Union working group


In Russia, civil society organizations and civil society, in general, are often perceived by the authorities as being a "black box". In order to increase the efficiency of social and economic reforms by taking into consideration the interests of different social/interest based groups, it is necessary for both international institutions and the Russian authorities to initiate a well thought-through civic engagement policy. Such an engagement would not only obtain feedback from society, it would help in minimizing political mistakes.

On the part of civil groups, there is the requirement that co-operation with the state and international actors be more effective and organized. This policy paper explores various policy options to enhance civic engagement in Russia, critically considering the approaches of the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The conclusions and recommendations are based on the values of participatory democracy taking into account different social interests and seeking to provide for social justice, public participation and the guarantee of human rights.